Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holey

In keeping with city ordinances we were obligated to bury Lakhi within ten hours of her death. This meant that we had to bury her on Sunday, which is our Sabbath day. We believe in keeping the Sabbath day holy, but this was clearly an ox in the mire situation...or at least a " dead cat in a cardboard box" situation. Instead of pulling an ox out of a pit we were placing our cat into one—it's August and we couldn't very well leave our poor kitty's dead body decaying in the summer heat! Besides, it would have been illegal to not to. So instead of keeping the Sabbath day holy we kept it holey. Very holey.

Meme and keezee bread

Sometime in recent history Miriam changed her named. I'm not even quite sure when it happened. Now instead of calling herself Meme (to rhyme with "theme") she calls herself Me-me (as in saying "me" and then saying "me" again). When she was really little, like days old, and we started calling her Meme I didn't really like it. Andrew did. And it's all Rachel could say so I guess she liked it, too. But I had been dreaming of calling my baby Mimi. Whether I liked it or not, my preference was overruled and thus Meme became Meme.

We've called her Meme her whole life. (That, and Miriam (because that's her name)).

She's called herself Meme for as long as she could talk. And then she started branching out to things like Memester and Mememmers—other nicknames we use—and sometime in the past couple of weeks she started calling herself Me-me. I think she likes it because she almost exclusively uses Me-me...or Mimi...I can't decide the best spelling for it.

I'm kind of heartbroken about it. Now that I've gotten my wish to have my little girl called Mimi, I kind of want Meme back. For now I guess we'll continue using both (or all, if you include Memester and Mememmers). Her language is still developing so there's no need to set a nickname in stone now.

The girls helped me make another batch of zucchini bread today. I first made zucchini bread a couple of weeks ago but Miriam kept calling it banana bread. We kept correcting her until she stopped asking for banana bread and instead started asking for "keezee" bread. She was so excited to help me make more "keezee" bread today. When we put it into the oven she asked if she could "Bite keezee bread?" but was told she'd have to wait until it had finished baking. After dinner when the zucchini bread had finished baking she wanted a "big piece—keezee bread!"

I don't think I ever want her to learn how to say zucchini.

Somehow, though, I think that even if everyone in our house called zucchini "keezee" she'd eventually learn the real word for it and switch over, just like how she switched her nickname on us.

Growing up is a cruel process. It takes all the cute away and replaces it with propriety. I suppose it's all for the best, but still...come on!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Un|reality

Lately my girls have been blurring the line between reality and unreality. 

Not last night but the night before I went into the girls' room to check on Miriam. She was crying because she had fallen asleep all curled up in the doll crib and was too sleepy to unsquish herself. I thought it was pretty funny that she thought it was a good idea to squish her big self into that itty-bitty crib...until I saw Rachel do it this afternoon.


How in the world?! That's what I would like to know.


The creme-de-la-creme of their reality blur came this afternoon when Miriam decided that the doll potty was an appropriate place to relieve herself. And did so smack dab in the middle of the living room.


Fortunately she didn't have very much in her system—that hole in the potty is smaller than a 3 oz. Dixie cup—and the only place I found that she spilled was on her dress.

I feel like I need to give my kids a tour of the house. This is a real potty. This is a pretend potty. This is a real bed. This is a pretend bed...

Oh, no you didn't say that about Lady Liberty!

There are a select number of people I enjoy discussing politics with—and you probably know who you are if you are one of them. There are far more people I don't enjoy discussing politics with, which is why more often than not I keep my opinions to myself. You'd be surprised at how often I hold my tongue. I learned to do that pretty quickly after moving to Utah when I was in my teens because I seem to be a somewhat original thinker for the area and if there's anything the majority doesn't like it's the minority.

To avoid conflict—and, more importantly, name-calling and far-flung accusations of my sanity and/or patriotism and/or testimony—I tend to bridle my tongue. Often.

Sometimes, though, I do feel justified in commenting politically and did so today.

The conversation took place on Facebook, which is an interesting but rather inadequate forum. One of my friends posted a little "forward" in their status.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stormy summer

It was a dark and stormy night, not unlike tonight. We've been having a lot of storms a lot lately. This particular storm was about two weeks ago. The wind alone was loud enough to keep us up but it was the ear-splitting cracks of thunder that made it impossible to sleep—I can only imagine what those bunkered down on the east coast for Hurricane Irene are going through. Anyway, it was a wild enough storm that Andrew and I decided that sleep was futile. We got up to watch the storm from the living room.

I walked into the living room first and was taken aback when a bolt of lightning illuminated the window, silhouetting the figure of a person!

I just about jumped out of my skin before I realized it was only Karen, who had also gotten up to watch the storm (being unable to sleep through it as well). She gave me quite the shock.

After a while I began to wonder how our children were sleeping through this cacophony—the rain was beating right against their window, after all. Perhaps their room had gotten struck by lightning and we didn't even notice...or maybe a giant sinkhole opened up and swallowed both the girls and Grandpa (who happened to be asleep in his bedroom below the girls)...it could happen.

I decided to check on them, just to make sure they were alright.

Rachel was fast asleep but poor Miriam was sitting up in bed, sucking her thumb, pulling her ear, and looking quite terrified.

"Momma!" she wailed when I stepped in to get her.

I love that self-soothing, thumb-sucking girl...but, seriously! Sometimes it's okay to cry out in the night!there was no need for her to be frightened in her crib, alone. Poor thing.

She slept through last night's storm and so far has been sleeping through tonight's, but these last couple of storms hardly hold a candle to the one a few weeks ago. We've been having such a wet, cold summer. If I'm not mistaken there is still snow on Timpanogos—from my earlier memories of life in Utah the snow was always gone by the middle of summer, but not this year. 

How Lakhi you are!

I recently started a cross-stitch and I'm happy I did because today was such a gloomy day that I needed something mind-numbing to do. Up, down, up, down, up, down...very methodical...very soothing. It's been perfect. As my mom mentioned on her blog, not only did we learn some very disturbing news but we also had to bury our precious little Lakhi today.



She died last night after presumably being hit by a car. We're not sure how she died, really, but my mom found her curled up under the car in the carport. She opened the door to let the cats inside because it was so stormy. Winter came in immediately but Lakhi wouldn't come. My mom called and called for her but she wouldn't come out from under the car. That's when she realized that Lakhi was probably dead.

Big girl bed

We've been having such a problem with Miriam stripping off her clothes, throwing her diaper across the room, and wetting the bed, that we decided we may as well put her in a big girl bed and begin the long and painful road of nighttime potty training. 


She was so excited to have a big girl bed and went down for her nap like a little angel. While she was napping Rachel and I put together a model of a covered wagon that we found at the craft store for 20 cents—score!


I thought all was well until I went in to check on her and found her awake in her bed with fecal matter smeared all over her sheets. After further investigation I found a stinky little package right beside the door and we had a fun little chat about knocking on the door if she needs to be let out of her room during nap time. She's always so quiet and instead of voicing that she wants to do something she'll just suck her thumb. *sigh*

Bedtime went much smoother than we thought it would. She only got out of bed twice. Each time she just walked up to me, patted my arm, and said, "Hi, Mommy!" Then I'd walk her back to bed and tuck her in. She stayed in bed for the whole night and this morning walked into our bedroom carrying her blanket and looking mighty proud of herself. 

"Meme. Good sleep. Nice big bed!" she said.

Tonight has been a bit more of a challenge. She has been out of bed several times. I've plucked her out of Rachel's bed a few times. I've tucked her in more times than I can count and took her potty twice. But I think she's finally settling in for the night and soon she'll get used to the freedom of not being in a crib and will go to bed when she's told to. Maybe...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Line of Demarcation

Miriam is a rogue colourer. For some reason she never seems to remember that we colour on paper. She coloured all over one of Grandma's benches the other day—I was relieved when I learned that was on Andrew's watch—and a few days before that she took some plates out of the cupboard and coloured on those.

"Why did you colour on these plates?" I asked her. "We only colour on paper!"

She looked at me innocently and explained, "Nephi. Colour. Plates."

Yeah. But he wrote on the golden plates. Not the kitchen plates.

Plates are not the only thing we fight about in the kitchen. Miriam and Rachel often fight at the kitchen table but fortunately this is often avoided, or at least alleviated, by the very nature of the table. It's a sectional table you can add varying numbers of leaves to in order to change the size according to your numbers, so it always has at least one crack in it, usually two. Miriam sits on one side of the crack and Rachel sits on the other—we call the crack the Line of Demarcation.

The girls are very serious about it. We joke that they're going to go to school and the topic of the Treaty of Tordesilla is going to come up in European History and the line of demarcation will be mentioned and our sweet girls will raise their hand and explain what the line of demarcation means to them, which of course is completely historically inaccurate. I suppose it isn't entirely inaccurate since Pope Alexander VI hoped that by drawing his line on the 38th parallel he'd keep Spain and Portugal from fighting over table area new territory.

Now instead of fighting over whatever it is they would have fought about if the Line of Demarcation had not been established, the girls put their foreheads and noses together right at the crack and shout at each other in an effort to get the other one to observe the sacred Line of Demarcation.

"LINE-A-CATION!" Miriam will shout at Rachel.

"LINE OF DEMARCATION!" Rachel will shout back.

"LINE-A-CATION!"

"LINE OF DEMARCATION!"

When a grown up asks what the matter is one of the two will usually express something about how the other one crossed over the Line of Demarcation and into their table territory. I'm pretty sure Spain and Portugal had the same problem because they later ignored the papal line and redrew the Line of Demarcation a couple of degrees to the west in order to placate Portugal, I believe, because they wanted to claim Brazil...or India. I'm not really sure. Does it really even matter? They were both trying to take things that weren't really theirs, anyway.

Half the time I'm not really sure what my children are fighting about, either. Usually it's about taking something that's not theirs.

Thus the Line of Demarcation is an apt phrase.

Routines

This has been the summer of tantrums—tantrums specifically directed at Andrew. When he came home from Ghana and it became obvious to the girls that he wasn't going anywhere they got a little antsy. Andrew was home five days a week, going into work at Quiet Way on Tuesdays and BYU on Wednesdays. Other than that he worked from home—long hours from home, but home nonetheless—and the girls weren't used to having him around so much.

Rachel became quite antagonistic towards him, saying things like, "I wish you'd go back to Ghana and never come back!" and "Get out of our family!" and things like that. She stopped asking for him to tuck her in at night and would instead request that I ask him not to come in to say goodnight at all. I could give more examples of her meanness, but I won't. In short I'll say that she was breaking his heart.

He went back to school full time this week, which is kind of lame since classes don't start until next week, but he's a Sherpa (peer tutor) for the newbies in the program and was helping with orientation. He also taught some excel classes and took some others. He had several meetings for his position on the MPAA student council thing as well as with individual professors. He presented at the staff and faculty retreat and has done a whole bunch of random stuff. In short I'll say that he has been pulling eleven to twelve hour days—he leaves the house at 7:30 in the morning and gets home at 6:30 or 7:30 at night.

Now when he comes home the girls' faces light up. They yell "DADDY!" and run to greet him at the door. They request stories and fight over who gets to sit by him and ask for him to come in and kiss them goodnight. And they do whatever he asks them to do without talking back—pyjamas, brush teeth, clean room. It's awesome.

I guess having him home so much kind of threw off the girls' groove and now that he's back to being gone all the time they're happy to have him around when they get him. It's like some magical switch was hit and now we can all be happy again. I'm sure it won't last long—soon we'll be bemoaning our schedule and longing for the relaxed atmosphere of summertime—but for now we'll enjoy getting back into a routine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First day of school = fail

Today I was going to do a wonderful post about Rachel's first day of school. I failed in even capturing a decent picture.


She zoomed out the door before I even had the camera out so I figured I would just take her picture at school. Then right before we turned the final corner before getting to her school she ran straight into a mailbox. 

Tears, tears, tears.

She was not a happy camper when we got to school. 

"Hi, Rachel!" her new teachers greeted her (because her old teacher *sniff* moved to China), "How are you today?"

Rachel didn't say anything.

"Well, she just ran into a mailbox, so..."

"Ouch," said her teacher. "Well, we'll give her a few minutes to warm up to things."

The low point of my day was reading the parent handbook and learning that I was supposed to have packed a snack. Last year they provided snacks. Luckily Rachel's little friends with prepared parents were willing to share their snacks with her.

The high point of my day was reading the parent handbook and learning that class goes until noon this year. Last year they got out at 11:30. 

I guess I'll try to do a better "first day of school" post later. For now this will have to do.

And let's just not talk about how I never wrote about Rachel's last day of school, mmmmkay?

$2 Tuesday at Thanksgiving Point and Cabela's

To celebrate Rachel's first official day back at school, Grandma took us on a field trip to Thanksgiving Point. Every Tuesday in August every venue at Thanksgiving Point is only $2, which is a steal of a deal when you consider the exorbitant amount they usually charge per entrant. And, yes, I consider $10 per person an exorbitant entrance fee. 

We went last year and even though it was rather crowded (ie. packed!) we had a lot of fun.

Rachel even remembered a lot about the Museum of Ancient Life; she talked about it the whole drive. Miriam was too young last year to remember much of anything but she was very excited about it and she kept saying, "Dia-saurs. Rawr!" She had a blast this year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do not disturb the CAVEGIRL

Grandpa has a sign on his office door that Auntie Em made for him years ago. It's a hand-lettered sign on a piece of white paper and it reads: Do not disturb the CAVEMAN!

Today Rachel suggested that we make her a sign like Grandpa's but hers will say: Do not disturb the CAVEGIRL! So we did. Here's Rachel's door today:

Duggar Family Reunion

We met up with our Duggar relatives for a reunion on Saturday. Andrew couldn't come because he's busy with school already so I went with my mom. Dad couldn't come because he's still in Germany.

My grandma and her brother Tom are the only two left out of five siblings. I really need to start interviewing them about their parents so that I can finish unraveling the mystery surrounding the O'Neal/Duggar kin.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hancock Reunion

The Hancock reunion was July 22–23. I started writing about it last month but got completely sidetracked with camping and stuff. I would like to know how it's already the middle of August. Now I have to try to remember what happened a month ago and I can barely remember what happened yesterday so...we'll do lots of pictures.

Rachel quickly made friends with a little third-cousin of hers, who I'll just call L.


My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Hancock (who is buried in Nauvoo) was third cousins to John Hancock (the signer of the Declaration of Independence). I always knew I was related to him but it always seemed so distant—he didn't have any living descendants so no one is directly related to him but third cousins always seemed so far apart to me. To have this picture of Rachel snuggling up to one of her third cousins was kind of mind boggling.

It's possible that my Thomas Hancock was hobnobbing it up with John Hancock at a family reunion when they were four years old. Of course, John Hancock was born in Braintree and Thomas Hancock was born in Longmeadow and those towns/cities are over a hundred miles apart so I'm not sure how often they would have seen each other back in the 1700s. Still. It's possible. And that's kind of neat.

Thou shalt not covet...

Sacrament meeting was pretty awful today. Rachel just would't leave Miriam alone. She had decided that she would not be satisfied unless she had whatever it was that Meme was currently holding. So she'd wrench something out of Miriam's hands and, looking rather smug, would settle in to enjoy it. Miriam, of course, would be unhappy, so I'd dig through the diaper bag to find something new for Miriam to play with. Obtaining that item would then become Rachel's next goal. 

There was a whole lot of screaming coming from our bench and when I couldn't take it anymore I took Rachel out for a timeout in a classroom. Andrew was playing the organ so I basically ditched Miriam on our row and fled to the foyer dragging Rachel, kicking and fussing, all the way.

She drew a picture of the ordeal after we went back in to sit with Miriam again.


That tall orange person is me—and don't I just look happy to be there? That short pink and yellow person is Rachel—who has tears streaming down her face (and a braid in her hair that is apparently sticking straight up). The brown lines all over the background is her rendition of that icky burlap stuff they put on the walls and the multi-coloured circles on the bottom of the page represents the carpet.

She got just about every detail right except that I was not smiling—believe you me!

We had a nice little chat about the difference between wanting something and coveting something. Rachel can want to take a turn with something that Miriam has, and that's fine, but when the wanting gets to be so intense that it takes over her every thought and she chooses to be dissatisfied with every other option presented to her then it turns into coveting. It's obsessive. It's one of Satan's tools to make us feel miserable. And it's not okay.

I hardly ever take my children out during sacrament meeting so I wasn't really sure how Rachel would react to it—would it be an effective punishment or would she see it as a treat? 

She definitely did not see it as a treat. I set up a chair in an empty classroom, told her to sit on it, and then stood outside the door while she screamed. After a few minutes all she wanted to do was go back in and sit down with Miriam so we did and she was actually good until the end of the meeting.

That picture just cracks me up, though. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gilgal Garden: you should know that this is the weirdest place I've ever visited

Four months ago I wondered if Rachel's sunflowers were going to survive—turns out they did. Or at least the second batch we planted survived (because I know the first batch died a cold, miserable death). It's the middle of August now, in case you haven't noticed, and we finally have a sunflower.


I won't tell you much about the tomato plants—except that they're finally blossoming, too—because it just breaks my heart that we're not drowning in fresh garden tomatoes. 

That's not what this post is about, though. It's really about our last family outing before school starts. School starts not next week but the week after so naturally Andrew is booked solid all of next week. He's helping with new student orientation, teaching a few excel classes, taking a few different excel classes, and is just busy in general. So since we won't see him until December at best (April at worst) he decided to take his girls out. We skipped nap time, which some of us (namely Miriam) weren't too thrilled about.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

By this time (1:00 PM) yesterday I had worked a full two hours. Today? 50 seconds. I'm tired.

We took Rachel to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last night, which was amazing. It's her favourite show right now—she's been watching the DVD (starring Donny Osmond) almost daily and listening to the CD at bedtime (and throughout the day). She knows every song, nearly word-for-word, though she sometimes gets it wrong.

In Stone the Crows, for example, Rachel sings:

Joseph how can we ever say
All that we want to about you?

We're so glad that you came our way!
We went to Paris without you!

(We should have perished without you are the real words).

And she just can't get over the fact that sometimes the lyrics aren't words at all—they're just sounds: non-lexical vocables. That whole conversation went right over her head, believe me. When she first watched the DVD she said that she wanted to be in the children's chorus one day but she would learn all the words to the song so that she wouldn't have to sing "ah-ah-ah." Well, our little friend Emma happened to be in the children's chorus for the production we saw last night (in Herriman).



"They don't know all the words, either!" Rachel remarked, even though it was quite apparent that Emma did know all the words. She did a fantastic job!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Praying Mantis

Our neighbours are pulling out their bushes and the girls were attracted to all of the noise. Grandma took them both outside to check the mail and to watch the men at work. While outside they noticed a praying mantis, whose house had most likely recently been uprooted. He sought refuge on the wall.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Aida

Sometimes we're spontaneous. And when we're at a family party (thanks, Auntie Judy!) and my mom says, "Do you want these tickets to see Aida? I'll babysit your girls..." we say yes. Even though the show starts in an hour and a half. That's spontaneity. You can tell it's spontaneity because of how it is.

There were originally four tickets and we were supposed to find someone to give away the extra two to but we failed. 35 of the 35 people we invited to take them were not spontaneous enough (and that doesn't include the open-ended invitation we put out on facebook). So we went alone and gave away the tickets at the door because we're nice like that.

My little sister was supposed to go on a double-date with the tickets but her date got stomach flu so the tickets fell into our hands. They were hand-me-down tickets, but I don't mind hand-me-downs at all.

We went into Aida blind. We had hoped that the Aida (the opera) would play at the Cairo Opera House while we were in Egypt, but that didn't happen. So we went to see Aida (the musical) today...still not knowing the story.

Y Mountain

Last night Andrew suggested that we hike the Y this morning. Then we saw on facebook that my brother was planning on hiking the Y tonight and that our friends hiked the Y yesterday. At first I thought it would have been nice to coordinate with them but after hiking it I'm glad that we just went by ourselves. It took us two-and-a-half hours to hike it (round trip). It's 1.2 miles up and 1.2 miles down, for a grand total of 2.4 miles. Basically we were moving at the rate of one mile per hour, which is only slightly faster than your average snail. Except that your average snail only moves at 0.03 miles per hour, so we were loads faster! 

Eat our dust, snails!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sense of Self

Yesterday I was cuddling with Miriam, which is something that happens a lot. She'll come up to me with her thumb in her mouth, sometimes dragging her blanket behind her, and will pause her thumb-sucking to ask to be picked up.

"Mommy holding you?" she'll say in her sweet little voice.

It probably happens upwards of twenty times a day.

So I picked her up so we could cuddle for a minute.

"Are you my little snuggle-bug?" I asked her.

"No! Not snuggle-bug. Bunny!"

"Bunny?" I asked, "You're my snuggle-bunny?"

"Yeah," she said, relaxing into my arms. "Bunny. Snuggle-bunny."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cyber friends

You may recall that last week Caitlin (from Cairo) was in Utah for her brother-in-law's wedding. She stopped by for a visit, which meant that I had to cancel the play date I had set up with Amy and Tommy. It was kind of a bummer to put that off for another week (though it was awesome to visit with Caitlin) because I was really looking forward to meeting Amy—we met online (accidentally) five years ago. She went to junior high school with a bunch of my high school friends and one day she was combing through facebook to reconnect with a Nancy that went to junior high with her (and high school with me). 

She knew that Nancy had gotten married and that she didn't know her new last name so when she found my profile she added me as a friend. The other Nancy and I kind of look alike in that we are tall, thin, and brunette, so it was an understandable mistake—besides Amy hadn't seen Nancy since junior high. Then Amy found a link to my blog and realized that she didn't actually know me but she decided that we should be friends anyway. I concurred. 

So we've been blog-stalking each other for five years and finally decided that we ought to meet. 

And then I had to cancel on her. 

Luckily we're such good friends that she was totally cool with it.

And then this week I got an urgent text from Jaehee saying that she was in town for her brother-in-law's wedding and only had one day to meet up. She wanted to meet up on Tuesday, which meant that I got to see Jaehee without canceling on Amy (which is good because I'm not sure how many times you can use the excuse of "my friend from Cairo is in town for a couple of days for her brother-in-law's wedding and can only meet me one day so I have to cancel on you, sorry" in a row without seeming suspicious).

Monday, August 08, 2011

Take me to a happy place

Uncle David was in a benefit concert/play/thing this past weekend and we planned to go support him on Friday night. We loaded the kiddos in the van and swung by my mom's house to pick her up. We had just gotten on the freeway when the van started to shake, rattle (but, thankfully, not roll) so instead of going to the play we turned around and came back home.

And because the van was out of commission and Grandma and Grandpa were out of town we started using Grandpa's little two-door car. It's a little bit more a hassle when you've got to buckle two girls into the backseat, but it gets the job done. For some reason, though, Andrew assumed that the air conditioning didn't work and instead opted to roll down the windows. This while it's stifling hot.

Rachel thought our windy rides were awesome.


Miriam, on the other hand, hates wind (much like her father did at this age). 


She's been spending every car ride in her "happy place" and only removes her thumb to cry, "Windy!" before putting it back in again.

When the moon hits your eye...

A couple of nights ago the girls helped me make pizza for dinner. One of them (Rachel) was actually helpful—she chopped up the olives (with the egg slicer) and helped sprinkle cheese, pineapple, and meat (and olives, of course) on top. The other one (Miriam) was not so helpful and concerned herself mostly with eating the toppings either before they got on the pizza or by taking them directly off the pizza. This was most distressing for Rachel, who declared time and again that Miriam was "ruining everything!"




Fortunately, Miriam did not ruin everything and the pizza turned out beautifully!

Rock Canyon Park

For Family Home Evening this week, we met with Grandma and Grandpa's BYU ward at Rock Canyon Park. We had taco salad and then played long and hard. Rachel loves all the attention the BYU kids dish out to her, so even though she was incredibly grumpy she was off playing with the "big kids" most of the time we were there. Usually they seem to love her back just as much as she loves them but today several of them commented on her (bad) attitude. 

We've gotten to bed late and have been forced out of bed early too many nights in a row. On Sunday morning (after not getting into bed until 10:30) we had to wake the girls up at 8:00 in the morning to get ready for church. Neither of them wanted to wake up. 

Then we had a family dinner at Grandpa Frank and Grandma Sharon's house and even though we left early so that we could get the girls to bed at a decent time neither of them fell asleep until after 10:30. I thought for sure they'd sleep in this morning but then Rachel bounded into our bedroom at 8:00 in the morning.

She was beyond grumpy by dinnertime. 

I've never been so happy to have 80 other adults around to take care of her.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Organizational skillz

Last night after we had our prayer together Andrew said "amen," but it sounded like he was laughing so I asked him what he was laughing about.

"Nothing," he said, "I just happened to be exhaling while I was talking."

"Really?" I said. "You know, I usually exhale when I talk, too."

"Really!?" exclaimed Andrew. Then about three seconds later he said, "Oh, yeah. I guess you would. Ummm...maybe I was inhaling while I was talking, then."

"You go ahead and try that," I suggested.

So he did. It's possible. It's just hard. And sounds like a...dying person. Not that I've ever talked to a dying person, but I can imagine.

Andrew is very smart but sometimes he puts his foot in his mouth, especially late at night. Though it's possible that he does it more often during the day and I only know about it in the evening because that's when I get to talk to him.

Mysterious Ways

10:35 AM. Yesterday morning. 

Miriam: Up? Mommy's bed? Chapstick?
Me: No. I don't want you to get on Mommy's bed because you'll muck around with stuff you're not supposed to.
Rachel: I can help you get onto Mommy's bed.
Me: No, Rachel—I don't want you to help Miriam get onto Mommy's bed. I don't want her on my bed at all because she'll muck around with all my stuff. Didn't I just say that?
Rachel: Okay. Miriam, you can just get the stool from the bathroom and use that.
Me: Rachel! I don't want her dragging the stool around the house to reach things she's not supposed to reach! Why do you give her these ideas? Miriam, please stay off Mommy's bed, okay?
Miriam: 'Kay.

2:13 PM. Yesterday afternoon.

I was getting ready to go to the temple and I found: a stool by the bed, my pillow on the floor, Chapstick smeared on the sheets, a lidless Chapstick tube, the dust jacket stripped off the book I'm reading, fresh doodles on my notepad, and baby fingerprints all over my extra set of glasses. Grrrrr...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Friends

I've known the first two lines of a poem for a long time now, though I've never quite known where they've come from. They are often unattributed and were even borrowed into a Girl Scout camp song (again, without proper attribution, it seems). You probably know the lines, too.

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.*

We certainly have fun making new friends, but there's nothing better than getting together with "old" friends. And when you move around a lot it doesn't take long before new friends become old friends.

We've had plenty of opportunities to get together with a some of our "old" family friends this summer. On the 18th of June we got together with the Cummings family and the Perry family.

Bubble [un-]Solution

Yesterday Rachel had her friend Spencer over and she took him outside to play bubbles. Miriam went too.

After a few minutes there was a grand tantrum so I poked my head out the door to investigate. It was Rachel who was screaming.

"AHHHHH! I DIDN'T WANT TO DO THIS! NOW I WILL HAVE NO MORE BUBBLES!"

"What happened?" I asked.

"I spilled some of my bubbles," she sniffed.

"That's alright," I said, "You didn't spill the whole bottle. You can keep playing with what you have left."

The kids started playing again so I went back inside. Moments later more screaming ensued.

"MIRIAM! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? YOU'RE RUINING MY LIFE!"

I poked my head out the door again.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"MIRIAM SPILLED SOME OF MY BUBBLES!" Rachel raged.

"Just some? Well that means there is still more left. I'm sure it was an accident."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sampling

Today I found Miriam in the bathroom, sitting on the potty with her pants at her ankles.

I think she's officially potty trained...at least during the daytime. We had a little setback this week and she started having accidents like crazy. On Sunday afternoon between 2:30 and 5:00 PM she wet her pants nine times.

NINE TIMES!

At first I thought she was just having issues adjusting to being back home from camping but when she started saying "ouchie pee-pees" I knew we had a bigger problem on our hands.

Luckily I was able to get an appointment for her on Monday. I had to help her get a urine sample, of course, which is usually pretty tricky when you're only a year old but since Meme's potty trained it was a cinch. Or at least it should have been a cinch.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gunky Monkey

Miriam has gotten herself into lots of interesting places lately. She's discovered how to climb onto Rachel's bed which means she now has full access to both the radio and the headboard. It's not unusual to suddenly hear music blaring from the girls' bedroom only to walk in and find Miriam jamming out while balancing precariously on the headboard.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Grover Randomness

The night before we left for Grover, Rachel was too excited to sleep. She determined that she'd sleep in the living room with all the camping gear we'd assembled.



Being the mean mom that I am, I said no.